Is Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo Still Best Tackle in Draft?

March 28, 2011 | Brian Billick

Anthony Castonzo is still viewed by many as the best tackle in this draft class, but Tyron Smith is closing the gap quickly.  Castonzo is similar to Joe Thomas when he was coming out as a prospect as both are good athletes for their size and are smooth in their movements.

At the combine last month, Castonzo measured in at 6’7, 311 pounds and completed 28 repetitions in the bench press.  Those 28 reps don’t equate to dominating strength, but on tape, that movement is explosive off the snap to engage the defender quickly.  By shooting his hands inside on the chest of the defender, he is able to control his movement much more easily than if his hands were out of the shoulder pads.  Once engaged, he uses those long arms to keep the defender off his body and shuffles his feet well to stay between his man and the quarterback.  At this stage in his career, he proves to be a better run blocker than he is pro protector, but shows the potential to be dominant in both.

In addition to being a four year starter at Boston College, Anthony Castonzo was a Road Scholar nominee.  Having a gifted athlete that shows the aptitude to absorb and retain a lot of information in a short period will be an asset to whatever team pulls the trigger on Castonzo.  I look for him to be an immediate starter on the right side, and eventually transition to the left as he matures as an NFL tackle.